It's a pattern familiar to many trying to slim down: Go on a diet, shed some pounds, then gain it all back and then some over time. Don't blame weak willpower: A new study shows that hormones in the body throw a temper tantrum of sorts in reaction to weight loss and send an unrelenting message to the brain: We need food. Worse, the hormones keep sending that message for a long time—the Australian study found elevated levels in dieters after a full year, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, offers a "really discouraging" view of just how effectively the body fights back against weight loss, says an endocrinologist with the University of Colorado. As a result, "the high rate of relapse after dieting is not surprising," the study concludes. (Read more diet stories.)